Saudi Arabia Condemns French Embassy Attack In Burkina Faso

06 March, 2018, 02:06 | Author: Kim Reid
  • Gunfire explosion heard in Burkina Faso capital

Islamic extremists carried out two other large-scale attacks on Ouagadougou in recent years, killing 30 people at a popular cafe in 2016 and 18 more at a Turkish restaurant in August 2017.

A SUSPECTED key figure in the deadly Burkina Faso attacks has been arrested, a government source said today. Eight militants were also reportedly killed.

Presidential security guards who were manning the roadblock about 1.5 kilometers from the presidential palace, repelled the attack, arresting one assailant while two managed to escape.

French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian said damage to the embassy was minor, and the mission would be able to resume normal operations "in two or three days".

French President Emmanuel Macron's office says he is following the situation and French authorities are urging French citizens to avoid the city center.

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In reprisal for Burkina Faso's participation in a regional fight against Islamist militant.

French military spokesman Colonel Patrick Steiger told AFP said French forces in Burkina Faso "intervened in support" of the local military but "did not directly take part in the action".

Authorities said four gunmen were killed at army headquarters, where the assailants also detonated a vehicle bomb, and four more were killed at the embassy.

Burkina is a former French colony and, like several others countries in west and central Africa, retains close security and trade links with Paris.

Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is on a visit to neighbouring Mali, "strongly condemned" the attack while United Nations chief Antonio Guterres called for an "urgent and concerted effort" to improve stability in the Sahel.

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A Reuters reporter saw an ambulance entering the army compound.

They were accompanied by the High Representative of the President of Burkina Faso, Moumina Chériff Sy, and the Mayor of Ouagadougou, Armand Roland Béouindé.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but Burkinabe Minister of Information Remis Fulgence Dandjinou said the attack "has strong overtones of terrorism". In response to the new violence in eastern Burkina Faso, troops from Burkina Faso and nearby Mali and Niger have increased patrols. The attack remains unclaimed.

Four attackers were shot outside the French embassy and another four at the military headquarters, another security source told AFP.

Led by the Malian jihadist Iyad Ag Ghaly, the group is allied to Al-Qaida and has claimed responsibility for previous attacks in the troubled Sahel region.

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